ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 2nd August 2015, by NEO Staff

Bleach Series 15:1

While the Arrancar arc has come to a close –in spectacular fashion – there’s still plenty more Bleach for all you zanpakutou zealots! After his debilitating scrap with über-baddie Aizen, some episodes hence, Ichigo is attempting to live a quiet life, or at least as quiet a life as you can lead when fighting restless spirit monsters is part of your daily routine. Unfortunately, that’s thrown out the window when a mysterious figure initiates a plot to turn the most powerful denizens of Soul Society against each other, by creating evil copies of top shinigami. And of course, in true Bleach fashion, everyone’s answer to the problem is to fight everyone in sight first, and ask questions later – if at all.

While Bleach’s single-episode filler stories can often be a little hit-and-miss, it can still engage with an arc full of striking swordplay, and that’s exactly what these episodes take us into. Although it doesn’t quite deliver the huge hits of the last big fights, it doesn’t feel anticlimactic, and it’s well-placed in the series, being parked in a natural lull in the manga’s storyline rather than clumsily interrupting an ongoing story as filler arcs have done in the past.

If you’ve stuck with Bleach for the first 14 seasons, then it’s probably safe to say that you’re ready for more, and this season has everything you could want from the series – namely, a gaggle of battle-happy spirits whacking each other with swords, and looking great doing it.

An interesting new arc that takes the series back to basics after the climactic previous series.
SCORE: 3.5/5
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